Kickers on your favorite team and fantasy team may be a little more important in the future. According to NFL.com’s Judy Battista, the NFL is considering making the change from a 19-yard PAT, to a 42-yard one.
"The NFL Competition Committee has discussed experimenting this preseason with a longer -- much longer -- extra-point try. According to one member, the committee's meetings this weekend included preliminary talks about placing the ball at the 25-yard line for the extra-point kick -- which would make it a 42-yard attempt -- rather than the 2-yard line, where it is currently placed.”
Why is this change wanted?
The extra point has become a highly debated topic over the years. Many say that it is pointless and basically a waste of time to kick it. They say that PATs are hardly ever missed and they should be either altered in some way, or done away with all together. It seems to be just a formality to line up and kick this near-automatic attempt. People who believe this have the statistics on their side to back their claims. According to statistics on NFL.com, there were 1,267 extra points attempted in the 2013 season. Of all these attempts, only 5 were unsuccessful. Those numbers add up to give us a PAT conversion rate of 99.61%.
Before concluding that these numbers show that this would be a good move, take a look at the numbers on the other side of the argument. Around 83% of field goals attempted between 40 and 49 yards were made. Now obviously, a couple of factors must be considered when looking at these numbers. First, they would be kicking from 42 yards and these numbers are lumped in with attempts from 43-49 yards. Also, these field goal attempts include the various angles, and PATs would be attempted from the middle of the field. Still, it provides us with at least an idea of what we are looking at here.
What would it mean for the game?
Like many changes, this one would be made in an attempt to make the game more exciting. The extra point would no longer be guaranteed and would be a play which everyone would pay a little more attention to. It would also cause a change of game plans for many teams. Let’s say that the wind during a game in Chicago is particularly bad. Coaches will be faced with the question of whether it would be easier to kick a 42-yard extra point, or if it is worth just going for the 2-point conversion. The length for the 2-point conversion will stay the same, which should present an interesting dynamic to every NFL game.
What are fans initial reactions?
Some early polls have been taken to show what fans think immediately after hearing about this change. According to ESPN’s popular show SportsNation, over 16,000 people have already provided their opinion of this. At this time, 53% have said that this is a good idea, while 47% have said that it is not. They also asked the question of what the best option for a PAT is. 9% of fans voted for an automatic PAT, where the scoring team would just be awarded 7 points. 43% believed that the rule should be left as is, while 48% wanted the length of the attempt to increase.
Comment and let us know what you think of this “experiment” or let us know what you think would be best for the game today.